University of Hartford Director of Athletics Mary Ellen Gillespie announced Monday the appointment of Tom Payne as the new Senior Associate Athletics Director for Business Operations and Internal Affairs. Payne will begin his duties on September 17.
“My family and I are excited to join Hawk Nation,” said Payne. “I look forward to joining Mary Ellen Gillespie’s AD cabinet and assisting her in continuing to develop a culture of champions with our Hawks’ student-athletes, coaches, staff, alumni and Connecticut’s Capital City Team.”
As Senior Associate Athletics Director for Business Operations and Internal Affairs, Payne will oversee all financial and budgetary operations for the 17 NCAA Division I athletic programs sponsored by the University of Hartford. In addition, Payne will oversee the financial operations of the athletics business office, ticket office and equipment room.
“We are thrilled to welcome Tom, his wife, Amanda, and their son, Tristan Alexander, to Hartford,” said Gillespie. “Tom led the internal operation at Houston Baptist, and what set him apart from other candidates was his broad based experience in higher education and student-affairs, which is so important at our mid-major level. Tom is a rising star, and we are excited for him and his family to return to their Northeast roots as part of the Hawk family.”
Payne brings a wealth of experience to Hartford, most recently serving as Deputy Athletics Director at Houston Baptist University for the past seven years. Originally hired as Director of Athletic Operations, Payne was promoted to Business Manager, Assistant Athletics Director for Business and Operations and Associate Athletics Director for Business and Operations prior to gaining his current title.
Payne oversaw all day-to-day operations of the HBU Athletics Department, including all fiscal operations, event operations, marketing, promotions, ticket operations and broadcasting. He also served as the program administrator for the baseball, men’s and women’s cross country, and men’s and women’s indoor/outdoor track & field programs.
“This is an exciting time to be part of the University of Hartford, as President Woodard’s and Ms. Gillespie’s visions begin to take shape,” Payne said. “I would like to thank my wife, Amanda, who has been by my side throughout my career, my mentors, and Mary Ellen for affording me this opportunity.”
Prior to joining HBU, Payne advanced his career with stops at the University of Houston, Johns Hopkins University, Purdue University, Binghamton University and Cornell University.
Payne brings not only student affairs experience, but championship experience to the department after serving in a variety of roles, including working with the Texas Bowl, USA Track & Field National Championships, National Senior Games, Empire State Games, and the NCAA Division III Stagg Bowl. He has also served as the Box Office Manager for the Men’s & Women’s Southland Conference Basketball Tournament.
Payne received his Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Physical Education from Ithaca College and continued on at Ithaca to work on his graduate studies in Exercise Science.
Payne will be joined in West Hartford by his wife, Amanda, and their son, Tristan Alexander, who was born in May 2017.